Remembering their kindness
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016
The first time I saw Poplarville resident Bobby Smith was when I viewed Frank Ladner’s film “Max Peril.”
While each cast member’s performance was brilliant, Smith’s portrayal of Swoop-Down was especially memorable.
My husband and I instantly became fans of the film and he began impersonating Swoop-Down’s catchphrase, “yes indeed” in Smith’s voice.
He encouraged me to find Smith and hear his story and maybe write a lifestyle story about his life in Poplarville.
Sadly, that did not come to pass. Instead, I interviewed friends who spoke about the man known for being everyone’s best friend and one of the kindest people they’ve ever known.
As I listened to his friends speak through tears about Smith, I wished I had had the honor of meeting him.
As I listened to stories about Smith, it made me remember a time when I was growing up in Bay St. Louis when I would accompany my parents to our local Walmart.
As would often happen, my sister and I would wander away from our parents to look at the toys or whatever else caught our eye.
When we did get lost, we always found our way to the electronics department where Mr. Ed worked.
He was the sweetest man and never hesitated to call our parents’ names over the intercom or help us locate them.
Everyone in town knew him and he was also an excellent photographer.
Years later, when I was in high school, I met my best friend Sarah. Turns out, she was Mr. Ed’s granddaughter and I was once again reunited with one of my favorite people.
I met his wife, who has adopted me as one of her granddaughters now and I’m proud to call her Granny.
Before I returned to college one year, he took Sarah and I to see a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in Biloxi.
That was the last time I saw him alive. About a week after I returned to Oxford, I received a phone call alerting me to his passing.
I believe that each community has their own Bobby Smith or Mr. Ed. He or she is a person that everyone knows and loves. Someone who would do anything for you and do their best to make you smile. These days, it’s hard to find people who are kind for no other reason that its just their nature. I wish there were more people like Smith and Mr. Ed; we are losing people of their caliber too quickly.
Although I wish I had known Smith, I’m glad a part of him will live on in Ladner’s films.